New Mutated Plant Is The Future Of The Fight Against Pollution -- Study

By Charissa Echavez | Sep 08, 2015 10:37 PM EDT

Trinitrotoluene or TNT  is a commonly used explosive through the years. It has seen many wars and also destroyed many useful lands via its toxicity. Research cited that almost 10 million hectares (24 million acres) of land in U.S. alone are polluted by explosives, especially in military bases which contained explosives such as TNT. If this would go on, it will gradually claim land that could have been profitable for agriculture and residential purposes.

TNT on plants is as toxic as expected. Research showed how the chemical residue on the soil goes directly to the roots of the plants on the area. The study revealed that a certain MDHAR6 which if involved with the TNT messes up the plant's cells and is fatal. The chemical was absorbed by the roots and distributed to the plant's cells through the help of MDHAR6 which was responsible in creating vitamin C which results in over producing the toxic molecules called reactive oxygen species or ROS that MDHAR6 should be destroying in the first place. It also drains the mitochondrial fuel supply and with more than enough amount or successive dosage could very well kill a plant.

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Recently, scientists have discovered a plant that could withstand the fatal effects of TNT to vegetation. They discovered that by looking into the plant's cells and though without the presence of MDHAR6, the plant's reaction to the chemical was remarkable as it only absorbs and breaks it down and eventually retains it within the cell walls.

Neil Bruce, one of the biologist from the research team that conducted the investigation of the plant, said that it doesn't guarantee the invincibility of the mutant plant from the chemical, but it could withstand a large amount more than any ordinary plant does. This enzyme could be used to possible to create TNT-resistant to breed and eventually clean up in affected areas.  The plans to biologically mutate this on any kind of plant are a possibility they are still studying. He said that the presence of wild grass growing around the area with possible contamination of TNT.

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